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Heroes recognised by Royal Society of Saint George in honour of IRA victim Captain Robert Nairac

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

  • ST George's Day flag

  • Captain Robert Nairac

  • The St George's Day service in 2013

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A select few of Gloucestershire’s selfless souls will be rewarded for their commitment to their communities at a special ceremony tonight.

The winners of the Nairac Youth Awards have been announced and will receive their accolades at an event at Gloucester Cathedral during its 36th St George’s Day service.

The awards ceremony, instituted by the Gloucestershire branch of the Royal Society of St George, is held in memory of Captain Robert Nairac, from Standish, who joined the Second Battalion Grenadier Guards in January 1973.

In 1977, at the age of 28 and during his second tour of duty in Northern Ireland, he disappeared.

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It later transpired that he had been abducted, tortured and murdered by Irish terrorists.

In February 1979 it was announced that the Queen had approved the posthumous award of the George Cross, the highest honour for gallantry in peacetime, to Captain Nairac, whose body is yet to be found.

The awards, which include a silver salver to keep for a year, will be presented by Dame Janet Trotter, Lord-Lieutenant for Gloucestershire and patron of the Gloucestershire branch of the Royal Society of St George.

The winner of the individual Nairac Award is Katherine Frusher, 16, from Rodborough, who is a young leader with the 3rd Rodborough Brownies, working towards becoming a fully qualified adult leader.

Her best friend and fellow Young Leader died suddenly two years ago but, in spite of her shock and sadness, she continued to commit to her Brownie unit, not missing one meeting or event.

She is a talented archer who has recently qualified as a GB Level 1 coach.

She travels from Stroud to Gloucester each week by train to help coach a variety of young people with different levels of special needs at the inclusion club at GL1 Leisure Centre.

She has recently qualified through Guiding as an arrows archery coach and takes adapted archery equipment to groups in Stroud, Dursley and Gloucester

Katherine has chosen to share the award cheque between Asthma UK and Deer Park Archers, her archery club, which is fundraising to buy land.

The group award will be given to the Gloucestershire Army Cadet Force (The Rifles) to recognise its hard work in and for theand their local community.

Among many activities the cadets learn first aid, gaining St John Ambulance qualifications, and also take part in regional and national athletics competitions.

They were represented in the England side in the European tug of war championships.

The cadets’ corps of drums performs at events across the county, including leading Armed Forces veterans on the annual Back Badge Parade through Gloucester.

The cadets are continually fundraising for a wide range of charities including the ABF (The Soldiers’ Charity), Macmillan Cancer Support and the Royal British Legion.

A platoon in Imjin Company was one of the first to be affiliated with the Royal British Legion.

Their award cheque will be donated to Macmillan Cancer Support.

Stephen Wright, Royal Society of St George branch chairman, announced this year’s winners.

He said: “The Nairac Awards not only allow the Gloucestershire branch of the Royal Society of St George to continue to honour the memory of a remarkable young soldier from this county who made the ultimate sacrifice for Queen and Country, but by them we are also to able to recognise the work and achievements of just a few of the many wonderful young people we have in the county.”

The RSSG branch was founded in Gloucester in 1978 at a small meeting and has grown to a membership of around 200 dedicated to following the aims of the society.

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2 comments

  • Mike_Smith_Gl  |  April 23 2014, 12:59PM

    The Cathedral is usually full but I'm sure that we would be able to fit in a few extra people. There are always some who apply for tickets but can't make it at the last minute. It starts at 7.30 but you are advised to arrive before 7.10. Mike Smith, vice-President RSSG Gloucestershire,

    |   1
  • honslknjklyt  |  April 23 2014, 11:20AM

    Is it free for everyone and is there a start time? I got given a little card for St Georges day in town centre, it was a nice little thing!

    |   2

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